My decision -- and it is an active, conscious one -- to change my focus from what makes me unhappy to what makes me happy came from the realization that I know many people who choose to live in the bitter barn. They're not fun to be around, those people. They find the world, their jobs, their lives wanting. They swim in a pool filled with angry.
It is true that I sometimes find the world, my job, and my self to be less than perfect. I beat myself up sometimes. I can be depressed and anxious and sad.
But I am not angry. And I will never give in to bitterness.
So while I can choose, when I can choose, I will choose to see and live in joy and beauty. When some people choose to see only the dark, I will search the sky out for shooting stars and lightening bugs and the glow of the moon -- all of which I love, and none of which would be visible without the dark to make them shine.
Because that's what shitty situations are for, I think. To make the things that are amazing stand out. To provide contrast, and to let you make the choice: what will you see? Where will you put your attention?
What will you remember?
This is on my mind now because as this summer approaches, I find myself thinking about last summer. Last summer was ... Difficult.
Difficult, but beautiful. While I struggled -- and I did struggle -- I also found myself surrounded by friends and family who wanted nothing but the best for me, and who helped me find the best for myself. So if I'm thinking about last summer, what is the lesson? Is the lesson the struggle? Or is the lesson the love?
I think it's both.
It's both, but the struggle highlights the love and makes it more amazing... and I want to make sure that I'm giving the amazing the attention and effort it deserves. I want to do that with my memories of last summer but also as I go through every day.
Things are sometimes going to suck, but they will also be awesome. That's life. That's how it works. As long as I get to pick which one of those things gets my attention? I'm picking awesome. Awesome deserves my time.
It deserves yours, too.